Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tory methods of hiding donations exposed...

A complaint that Tory Shadow Chancellor George Osborne failed to declare almost £500,000 in donations has been upheld by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Despite promises of transparency by Tory Leader David Cameron, the Tories secret method of hiding donations has been exposed.

Wee Georgie - and other shadow cabinet members - failed to declare donations.

Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon ruled today that funding channelled to Tory Shadow Cabinet members through Conservative Central Office should be made public. He is taking no further action providing the the Tories correct the official register within four weeks.

The official investigation was launched after it emerged that the Conservatives gave Mr Osborne almost half a million pounds to help run his office - at the specific request of the donors of the cash - but this was not reported, as it should have been, in the Register of Members' Interests.

Labour MP for Bassetlaw (Notts) John Mann said: 'The report shows that there is clearly a methodical system that has been put in place to hide donations.'

'The Tories are being dragged kicking and screaming into revealing their donors. What is really astonishing is that this has continued despite Cameron's promise of transparency.'

Needless to say, George Osborne has responded by claiming he has been cleared of all wrong-doing...

Same old Tories, eh?

Full report now on BBC

5 comments:

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

We'll have to send him off to Labour HQ for buy-election training!

fairdealphil said...

Geoffrey:

well, if wee Georgie can't organise his own finances, imagine what a mess he'd make of the nation's...

Evan Price said...

So, Ken Livingstone and Labour should be revealing all in relation to donations to the Mayoral campaign too? Will the Labour Party doit without prompting?

The reality is that this law, like many created over the last 10 years, is badly drafted and badly implemented. What do you expect from a law that was partisan in intent.

fairdealphil said...

Evan,

I would not pretend that the laws Labour brought in to stop the Tories buying elections are perfect.

But surely a step in the right direction towards transparency.

Let's not go back to the dark days of Tory-rule, with cash in brown envelopes and when no-one had a clue who was bankrolling the Tory General Election campaign.

Partisan??

I'm sure some people see the laws Labour passed were to stop the Tories buying elections.

I guess that's partisan, yes.

Evan Price said...

The solution to the daft laws is to make sensible ones ... not to complain when the existing ones are so ridiculous that no-one appears to actually be able to us them. Including parties that have recieved substantial amounts of cash to pay for training on them ...

I agree that transparency is probably the answer ... the problem is that these rules do not achieve anything like transparency ... and will not because the last thing Labour wants is transparency.

Partisan ... because the last set of laws were intended to 'get' Tory funding while leaving Labour funding intact ... the fact that Labour was hoist on its own petard only makes the absurdity of passing partisan laws more obvious.

As to buying elections ... the spending of money by Government departments appears to climb dramatically in the period before elections and the Government is now the largest spender on advertising space in the UK. The attempt to buy the local elections this year with adverts about community policing being the most recent example of this corruption ... in my view institutional corruption by this Government rather than the individual corruption of individuals ... and that's before we look at other matters.